Father’s Violin (a Pubby review)

One of the most important functions of the Pubby review exchange and other similar review groups is to give some readership to new and deserving books. Especially now during this time of self-published books by the millions, we need to have a way to winnow out the wheat from the chaff. And believe me, there is a lot of chaff out there. (I know that I have warned you before that if I say, “Believe me” in an essay, I am probably lying. But I have read and can testify to some horribly bad and stunningly terrible works of fiction out there. And some of those authors believe their horrible stories are actually great works of art.) And in the Indie Book Industry now, there is a dire need for gate-keeping. Particularly, there is a dire need for someone to identify the good books hidden in the piles of the… um, other stuff.

Father’s Violin is an excellent book needing to be discovered by the reading world. It is a young adult novel that, having worked with young readers for most of four decades, I can guarantee you will appeal to the more intelligent and empathetic readers among them. There is an About the Book section at the end that specifically ties the events of the book to factual accounts of events in Berlin during and immediately after World War II.

Here’s the actual review I posted on Goodreads and Amazon for Pubby;

This is a very moving piece of Young Adult literature. It does make me a little uncomfortable by using a narrative done entirely in the present tense even though it uses numerous flashbacks, but it does a masterful job of painting a picture for the reader of the tragic lives led by orphans in the aftermath of World War II Germany. The setting is well-researched and brings out accurate details like the Nazis’ kidnapping of Aryan-looking children to be raised as future Nazis. But the thing that won my heart was the scene where Hertz plays Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major in the ruined theater on his father’s violin. This is masterful storytelling with vivid characters that you have to root for even when they are forced to experience terrible things. A really great book. You must read it.

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